It is chilly to think that if you are sitting among six people one of you is definitely a drug addict, can you imagine? Though over the years there has always been drug abuse, but in small numbers and you would never think it would come close to you.

KANO Sate is in the news, but not a good one, as the chairman of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, said the state had about two million drug addicts, representing 16 per cent prevalence.

Marwa made the disclosure when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Monday in Kano.

“In Kano State, drug abuse prevalence is 16 per cent; that is, in every six persons, one is a drug addict and they are between the ages of 15 years and 64 years.

“Kano State has close to two million drug users abusing tramadol, codeine and other cough syrups, rather than cannabis,” he said.

It is chilly to think that if you are sitting among six people one of you is definitely a drug addict, can you imagine? Though over the years there has always been drug abuse, but in small numbers and you would never think it would come close to you.

However, this one-in-six-people ratio got me thinking of something I heard a couple of times few years ago. It was said that at a wedding ceremony in Kano, a phone was stolen. The place was sealed and police were called. The handbag of every woman was searched and more than half had a bottle of cough syrup they used as drug. This story was said to have been reported by a police man.

Probably with neglect from the community and the authorities alike, it was allowed to fester and permeate the society. And now it is a societal problem threatening the young generation and even the old ones for that matter, as according to Marwa, people up to 64 years use drugs.

Therefore, as drastic measures were not taken over the years, even women now use drugs which before were the preserve of men, because women had no business with drugs, or so people thought, until they woke up too late to the sad reality.

Children are said to learn how to use drugs in secondary schools and such places. But if it becomes known, some parents don’t like to be advised, seeing it as an intrusion into their family affairs. The community leaders, elders and clerics ignore the problem. They only lament, but nobody takes charge on how to challenge the problem.

Then, politicians aided the youth in abusing drugs by intoxicating them to act as political thugs to fight their political foes, while their own children attend the best schools. Therefore, it is a welcome development that Marwa had urged the state government to make legislation that would prevent politicians from giving drugs to youths.

However while a lot has been said about how to stop drug abuse, you hardly hear about how to tackle the menace from the beginning. That is, the drug barons. How do the people get the drugs? Who supply them?

Only that it may not see the light of day, after all, the politicians use the drug addicts as their foot soldiers.

However, this one-in-six-people ratio got me thinking of something I heard a couple of times few years ago. It was said that at a wedding ceremony in Kano, a phone was stolen. The place was sealed and police were called. The handbag of every woman was searched and more than half had a bottle of cough syrup they used as drug. This story was said to have been reported by a police man.

I didn’t believe it, but I hope I was not playing the ostrich.

These days, young people get married and before long, you may hear that the husband takes drug and the girl’s parents didn’t know until after the marriage. So, the marriage collapses before it starts.

And in some cases the young brides are also said to be taking cough syrup. These are young women that are expected to become mothers and raise decent children.

However while a lot has been said about how to stop drug abuse, you hardly hear about how to tackle the menace from the beginning. That is, the drug barons. How do the people get the drugs? Who supply them?

Local people are used to peddle drugs into communities, even small children are used. And raids by the police usually end up with the drug abusers being caught, but not the big time drug barons.

In this regard, the source should be traced and those that bring and sell drugs should be arrested and prosecuted.

They make people to lose their sanity, some become useless to the society, still some kill even their parents or threaten their parents with knives. So, no punishment is too harsh for such wicked, greedy people who steal people’s life-time away from them.

At the same time, the society should rise up and fight this cankerworm themselves for a productive society.

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